Herb Stories: The Future of Maca

  You may have heard rumblings in the news about an anticipated shortage of maca. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root vegetable that grows in the high altitude regions of Peru and has been used for food and medicine for over 4,000 years. Its popularity has been expanding worldwide, but recently, a huge increase in maca’s popularity in China has caused a buying frenzy and the future availability of this well-loved plant is precarious. According to news reports, the Peruvian government is aware of this issue, but has been unable to stop the incredible influx of buyers. Many are buying up any and all maca available, cutting off previous supplies and established markets, and then selling the maca at a higher price as the demand grows. Some […]

The Sunday Steep!

  While I drink tea daily for myself, there are times when one needs an impressive tea blend for company. This is a more simplified version of a tea blend I created for gifts and serving to guests at home. The recipe below makes enough for a nice pot of tea to share with cherished friends. It holds up well to a little milk and honey, or a little wedge of fresh lemon is nice as well! Even though it seems a little fancy, it's a nice all-purpose tea for health and pleasure…   Vanilla Spice Tea 1 teaspoon organic Raspberry leaf 1 teaspoon organic Oatstraw 1/2 teaspoon organic Elderberries or Hawthorn berries 1/2 teaspoon organic Ginger root 1/2 teaspoon organic Lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon organic Cinnamon […]

New in the Shop: Organic Moringa Leaf

Moringa Leaf Moringa oleifera Moringa is a tree that has been used for thousands of years in India for everything from food, to building materials, to medicine. This 'wonder tree' truly is wondrous in that each part of the tree is useful. The roots, stems, leaves, seed pods, resin, and flowers are considered to be healing herbs in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian healing system) and Unani (traditional Middle Eastern healing system) folk medicine. In modern times, the leaves and seed pods are utilized extensively due to their nutrient content. The generic name is derived from the Tamil (language spoken in southern India and northeast Sri Lanka) word 'murungai' meaning twisted pod, and 'oleifera' is Latin meaning 'oil-bearing' due to the seeds high oil content. […]

Having Herbal Fun with Fermentation!

  What do cheese, beer, sauerkraut, bread, and yogurt have in common? They all undergo the magical, metabolic process of fermentation of course! This ancient method of preserving food converts sugars to acids, gasses, and/or alcohol. In the most basic of ways, fermentation breaks down foods into the most digestible form and encourages the growth of good bacteria. And if done well, they taste fantastic!     Earlier this month we attended the 6th Annual Fun with Fermentation festival, put on by the non-profit organization, Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance (WVSFA). More than 650 fermentation enthusiasts attended the fundraiser to learn about the health benefits of fermented foods and sample food and drink supplied by local businesses. Sharing information and introducing people to fermented […]

Video: Salmon Stories with Shawn Donnille

  Happy New Year from Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP)! January brings many promises for healthy living and supporting positive changes. As such, it seems appropriate with the many resolutions swirling about to look at an area in need of goodwill and the people who are already inspiring change. Let’s talk about salmon! Salmon and steelhead populations are experiencing sharp declines due to a range of human activity, including pesticide pollution. At NCAP, working to protect water and wildlife is one of our three main program areas. In 2014 we won a victory where the EPA will reinstate no-spray buffer zones for five organophosphate and carbamate pesticides in salmon and steelhead habitat across Oregon, Washington, and California. These pesticides are highly […]

How to Make Medicinal Syrups

  Medicinal syrups are a great way to administer not so pleasant tasting herbs to young ones and bothered adults alike, or a great way to let your favorite herbs come to life in beverages and food dishes. Finding a nice combination of a pleasant aromatic herb and a medicinal herb can leave you with a tasty concoction perfect for many occasions and recipes! Herbal syrups make great additions to teas, desserts, bubbly beverages and cocktails, or all on their own by the spoonful! Syrups can be prepared with sugar or honey. If prepared with honey, my preferred method, medicinal syrup can be soothing and coating to the digestive tract membranes it comes into contact with, such as the throat. Besides being absolutely great for […]